This song finds vocalist Elly Jackson tackling the grim reality of the 2011 London riots, which left England's capital city in a state of mayhem. More specifically its about the atmosphere that Jackson picked up on in Brixton. "The recent Brixton riots had nowhere near as much positive impact as the ones in the '80s, which were far more directed (at the police)," she told NME. "I'm not making any political points here and I always want to stay away from politics, so that song is about the feeling of the riots – the energy in Brixton at the time – and the fact that I had never seen my generation in London stand up for anything before."
"Whether it was right or not to riot, or whether anything changed," Jackson added, "is not for me to say, but I knew afterwards that I wanted to write a song called 'Uptight Downtown.'"
Elly Jackson told Q magazine: "Uptight Downtown is a social commentary. It's not political or preachy, more humorous. The riots weren't necessarily right, but I kinda enjoyed the excitement of it. There was something powerful and energising about the whole thing."
The song was released as the first single from Trouble in Paradise. "I like to think everything on the album could be a single. If not, then why the f--- is it on there?" Elly Jackson told Billboard magazine. "Songs like 'Uptight Downtown' and 'Silent Partner,' there is an energy to them that I feel is extremely akin to who I am. I was very aware that however cheeky the arrangements became, however bouncy the groove became, that it should still be intrinsically me."